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Opinion Editorials

Behold the Mega-Blog

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agent genius logoIt’s a credit to Benn that contributors here have free rein in terms of what they wish to discuss. That, of course, is a way of kissing up ahead of the larger point of this post.

I just don’t get it, folks. I don’t get the fascination and/or growth of the mega-blogs and I’m a contributor to one of them.

Last time I checked, the Bloodhound had 3,746 active contributors give or take a couple. Agent Genius similarly has grown. Ironically, Rain City Guide has remained somewhat stable over the last several months.

It’s not that I see anything wrong with such expansion – especially seeing as I was part of it. But I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand it. Perhaps contributing here will drive some traffic back to my blog – I’ve not seen it, but so be it. (I also see limited numbers coming from Bloodhound on the rare moments I make the final list for the Odysseus medal.)

I have determined this is my place to rant (aside from today’s questioning of NAR after reading Benn’s earlier post) and my home blog is more sedate, though not strictly local in any way, shape or form. So in that the dual blogs serve a purpose.

But still … what’s the point? If you have a very successful blog of your own, why jump into the conglomerate blogs (barring the need to vent or write with a different voice)? You probably don’t need more readers and you likely will not gain business being one of a dozen (or two or three.) You’re not promoting your own branding (theme one of e-Pro, which, naturally, is violated by the RealTown blogging platform. But that’s another story.)

Greg has said in the past that real estate will not be his last career. Watching the path the Bloodhound has taken, that next career seems to be coming on more quickly than may have been anticipated. Add a cadre of quality writers under one umbrella. Brand the blog. Then sell the secrets to success … wait, the seminar’s free. Still …

Maybe this is the wave of the future. Then again, a year ago I thought Active Rain was the wave of the future only to discover it was wobbling on its water skies passing over a tank holding a tiger shark.

And maybe that’s why I stay. Because I may not be as smart as I think. Might be worth hedging my bets and sticking around on the larger blog just in case.

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    I just came becasue you are here and becasue Lani promised me a unicorn. I have not gotten the unicorn but I never give up.

  2. Jeff Turner

    November 21, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Jonathon… here’s where I think the problem lies right now. It’s easy to conclude that all of these different RE.net blogs are like different parties, with different guests. Our hope is that if we go to all of them, we’ll meet new and different people, and expand our network and influence. But for the most part, that’s not true. This is really just one party, and not a particularly large one at that. When we move from one blog to the next, we’re not actually moving from one party to another, we’re just moving to a different conversation at the same party.

    But I have a feeling you know this already. 🙂

  3. Todd Carpenter

    November 21, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Jeff is dead on. RE.net is a social network of it’s own. Far more viable than any group on Facebook. In many ways, it’s a free form model of Active Rain.

    The problem with only posting on your one, personal blog is that not everything you may want to say will be of value to your real clients. I maintain two separate blogs for this reason. Lenderama is my business blog, Blog Fiesta is my social networking blog.

  4. Rick Marnon

    November 21, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I used active rain for about a day and a half, and then I realized that it is just a bunch of agents writing on one anothers blogs. They do not help you to get better seo rankings, so what purpose do they serve?

  5. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Todd – I have more than one blog for the same reason. Most of my readers don’t know they are reading a blog, they are looking for information and I need to make sure it is there.

  6. Jonathan Dalton

    November 21, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Excellent points …

    I’m not that bright. That’s the heart of it all. So sometimes the WIIFM doesn’t jump out at me. A lot of my thoughts are directed at my own ignorance. (No sarcasm here.)

    Agent Genius has been great as a secondary voice. I haven’t ranted (much) on the regular blog since. I’m also not someone who’s ever worried about “voice.” My voice is my voice and I don’t necessarily have one for the public and one for the rest. If I can put together one coherent thought I’m pretty happy.

    This is a great collection of folks and I’m damn glad to be here … even if Teresa doesn’t end up with her unicorn.

  7. Todd Carpenter

    November 21, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    >”I just came because you are here and becasue Lani promised me a unicorn”

    Here you go T

    https://photo.mariah.com/teresasunicorn.jpg

  8. Jonathan Dalton

    November 21, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    That is so wrong on so many levels …

  9. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Todd just made me cry

  10. Benn Rosales

    November 21, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Phallic comes to mind.

  11. Todd Carpenter

    November 21, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    It’s a weinercorn you sickos. :p

  12. Teresa Boardman

    November 21, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    This is for Todd: https://tinyurl.com/2mdp6o
    My apology to Jonathan and to Tobey for highjacking this post.

  13. Tim

    November 21, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Keep in mind that on the RealTownBlogs platform, you CAN 301 to a branded domain with a custom template– no violation there.

  14. Mariana

    November 21, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    I like this platform because I respect ALL of the people here, and I can post what I cannot post on my own blog. I love Jeff’s analogy about the party. Makes a lot of sense.

  15. Chris Johnson

    November 22, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I’ve started contributing to blownmortgage.com, which is gonna be a mega blog. I’ve gotten traffic back to me, and in a week had a conversion. My website looks like crap currently (ah, the law of diminishing returns). But, people clicked because of the idea–I do conventional mortgages in 10 (calendar) days 100% of the time. One idea, easy to get.

    I’d think the more groovy and specific your niche the more likely people will click, and the more likely people will convert. I don’t know what a valid niche is; if I were a realtor, I’d probably blog all over the country to create a referral network and market myself as the guy that knows all the tech Savvy Realtor, and then offer 10-15% referral fees.

    Or something. Anyway, I like RE net blogs because the humanity and authenticity of the people is pretty high; there are people that admit it’s disingenuous for the NAR to be telling people that “now is a great time to buy…”

  16. Athol Kay

    November 23, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I have next to no clue about any of it either.

  17. Teri Lussier

    November 25, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    1) What Jeff said
    2) Parties are fun (Jeff left that part out).
    3) I find that on my blog it’s like home: Shoes off, feet up, in my jammies; whereas on another blog I’m a guest. I try to be on my best behavior, elevate the conversation (okay not always successfully, I know!), and contribute in a different way. I can’t explain it other than jammies and bare feet compared to party clothes and heels- two looks, same person, and it’s not just another voice, it’s another place.
    4) There is a synergy that happens in a group blog. It’s real and it’s an important part of a conversation. The blog takes on life of it’s own…
    OTOH, Maybe none of this makes sense… 😀

  18. Kelley Koehler

    November 26, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    See? This is why we need a comment feed. I missed out on weinercorngate.

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Opinion Editorials

The *actual* reasons people choose to work at startups

(EDITORIAL) Startups have a lot going for them, environment, communication, visible growth. So it is easy to see why they are so popular now

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startups meeting

Startups are perpetually viewed as the quintessential millennial paradise with all of the accompanying perks: flexible hours, in-house table tennis, and long holidays. With this reputation so massively ingrained in popular perception of startups, is it foolish to think that their employees actually care about the work that startup companies accomplish?

Well, yes and no.

The average startup has a few benefits that traditional business models can’t touch. These benefits often include things like open communication, a relaxed social hierarchy, and proximity to the startup’s mission. That last one is especially important: While larger businesses keep several degrees of separation between their employees and their end goals, startups put the stakes out in the open, allowing employees to find personal motivation to succeed.

When an employee can find themself personally fulfilled by their work, that work reaps many of the benefits of the employee’s dedication, which in turn helps the startup propagate. Many aspiring startup employees know this and are eager to “find themselves” through their work.

Nevertheless, the allure of your average startup doesn’t always come from the opportunity to work on “something that matters.”

Tiffany Philippou touches on this concept by pointing out that “People come to work for you because they need money to live… [s]tartups actually offer pretty decent salaries these days.”

It’s true that many employees in their early to late twenties will likely take any available job, so assuming that your startup’s 25-and-under employee base is as committed to finding new uses for plastic as you are may be a bit naïve—indeed, this is a notion that holds true for any business, regardless of size or persuasion.

However, startup experience can color a young employee’s perception of their own self-worth, thus allowing them to pursue more personally tailored employment opportunities down the road—and that’s not a bad legacy to have.

Additionally, startups often offer—and even encourage—a level of personal connection and interactivity that employees simply won’t find in larger, more established workplaces. That isn’t symptomatic of startups being too laid-back or operating under loosely defined parameters; instead, it’s a clue that work environments which facilitate personalities rather than rote productivity may stand to get more out of their employees.

Finally, your average startup has a limited number of spots, each of which has a clearly defined role and a possibility for massive growth. An employee of a startup doesn’t typically have to question their purpose in the company—it’s laid out for them; who are we to question their dedication to fulfilling it?

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Opinion Editorials

People saying “I love you” at work casually – yay or nay?

(EDITORIAL) Is saying “I love you” in the workplace acceptable in the current harassment and lawsuit climate? Let’s take a look at the factors.

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love shared

Anyone who works in “The Office” knows sometimes there is a failure to communicate. Per email conversation, context can get lost in translation.

So, why then, in the age of the Me Too Movement, are coworkers saying: I Love You?

I’m guessing it’s thanks to our digital lifestyle?

No, I’m not a Boomer. Thank you very much. That’s a different editorial. But, I’ve been working since way back in the day. A time when we wore tennis shoes with nylons. Wait, that’s still a thing?

Alas, I digress.

If we consider the culture of work, particularly in the case of some start-ups, it’s not uncommon for there to be beer in the workplace, casual dress – meaning you have clothes on – and possibly a more youthful expectation around communication.

So, f*ck yeah, dude, I love you!

With the use of workflow apps like Slack, where people can text you – while on the toilet, no less. I mean, who hasn’t told a colleague, “OMG! You are a f@cking ?” after dealing with a challenging situation/customer/boss/client and that colleague comes to the rescue.

Just me? Oops.

Maybe it started back with the I Love You Man commercial, which also became the title of a bromance.

If the bros can have their bromance, then why can’t we all say those three words in the workplace?

I’m not gonna spoil the party and say never. I’m just going to suggest some things are better left unsaid.

First, words are powerful.

Because this is the era of Me Too, it’s easy for there to be misinterpretation. What if a woman says it to a male colleague. A boss says to a much junior employee.

Can you say harassment?

One of my former managers didn’t even like me saying her name. I can’t imagine what she’d do if I said: “I love you.”

But, here’s a real reason. People are happy with us one day and not the next.

Keeping it chill and professional is important. For example, I once called my co-worker – and very good friend – a nasty Spanish word and it almost resulted in a knife fight. What I learned is one day you are joking around and your friend isn’t.

Second, a laissez-faire attitude toward communication can become second nature. You can’t be accidentally telling your client, you love them, now can you? I mean, beyond being authentic, those words mean a lot to some people, just tossing them about shows a real lack of judgment and can result in an extremely negative response.

Which leads me to my last point.

“Et, tu Cheryl”

One company I worked at hired Gallup to do a survey of staff. One of the questions was about having a work BFF, which is important in the workplace. Often we have our work husband or wife or sister, even. We all need someone we can lean on.

In the workplace, depending on the culture and environment, it may be a good place to keep it 100 or, if too toxic, a better place to fake it. Even people who seem to be on your side might be just waiting to pounce.

Get too close, say the wrong thing and Cheryl gets your office with the window and the red stapler too.

All I’m saying is keep it real, but maybe not too real.

Oh, and btw, I <3 U.

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Opinion Editorials

Audi paves the way for how to thoughtfully reduce a workforce

(BUSINESS NEWS) Audi has a new electric car plan that will eliminate 9,500 employees…but in a shocking twist, we’re not even mad. WATT’s going on here?

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Audi E-tron

12 billion motivational posters/yoga tops/specialty ziploc bags can’t all be wrong: Positive change always comes with loss.

For German Audi workers, the company shifting gears to focus on manufacturing electric vehicles will see employee losses to the tune of 7.5k people being Audi of a job there. In the next five years, another 2,000 jobs are expected to get the axe as well.

So they should be panicking, right? Audi workers should mask up and be out in the streets?

Well, considering the general state of the world, yes. But if we’re isolating to just this change, no!

See, Audi’s not actually shoving people out of the door to make room for younger, sexier, more fuel-efficient staff. The jobs they’re cutting are going to be cut due to employees leaving on their own for different pastures and retirement. As in, no one’s getting laid off through 2029.

Now there’s an electric slide I can get behind!

Audi’s top brass, in an Ohm-My-God twist (see what I did there), actually sat down with worker reps and talked this move out. This kinder, gentler, distinctly NON-assy arangement will save the company over 6.6 billion dollars over the next decade, and all of that cash is going to boogie-woogie-woogie into their ‘lightning car development’ piggy banks.

Yay for them!

And yay for us.

See, Germany has a (recent) history of not being horrible to their employees. It’s why Walmart’s attempt to claw its way into Deutschland went up in so much smoke. And that history is accompanied by a reputation for stunningly positive change for everyone from white tie to black apron.

With a brand as giant, trusted, and drooled over as Audi is managing to conduct massively profitable business without schwantzing anyone over, everyone here in the US has a shining example to point to and follow when making massive company moves.

Notably, Tesla, America’s favorite electric car company is almost cartoonishly anti-union, anti-worker, and anti-running dress rehearsals on expectation/glass shattering exhibitions. The prevailing thought is that it’s a necessity to be some kind of moustache twirling villain to get ahead because so many businesses insist upon it.

But that chestnut cracks here.

No more ‘Businesses exist to make money’ excuses. No more ‘You have to be ruthless to get ahead’ BS. Those selective-sociopathy inducing phrases never made any sense to begin with, but now, we’ve got a shining example of towering projected #GAINZ for a company doing right by its people without a single head rolling on the factory floors or a single decimal point moved left in the ledgers.

Ya done good, Audi.

Here’s hoping more businesses stateside follow in your tire tracks.

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